I first visited SwimLabs on September 29th. The whole thing came about when I finished up the main part of my season and in sum was pretty frustrated with my swim progress this year. I really didn't understand what was wrong with my swim, I thought I was swimming correctly, but knew that I probably wasn't. I didn't know what to change, or how to go about changing it. I had never truly felt the "pull of the water".
I was also scared of working on it. Without a clear direction and without knowing what to spend my time working on, I was a bit stuck. In fact, I was asking the twitter-sphere whether I should even go to Budapest next year (2010 ITU Oly distance Worlds, qualified at USAT Age group Nationals in 09) or maybe just go the direction of Iron distance races where the swim is less of an impact (even though my swim is what kept me from a Kona slot in Canada).
After a tweet from a fellow twitter follower (@sexykitsonly) telling me "Rev3 won't get u a kona slot for yur work & pain, u are 31st in the world with a below avg. Swim this yr, u can top 10 easily. Itu"
It motivated me. At the time it almost felt a little harsh. It made me cry, although he didn't mean to. I had a heart-to-heart with Troy and he asked me what was holding me up from delving into my swim. I told him and he said "Those are just excuses, quit making excuses". If you have ever met my husband you are probably rolling on the floor from shock right now. Troy is the kindest, nicest person you will ever meet. He is never harsh with me, only loving and caring. I walked over to the computer, went online and made an appointment for SwimLabs.
We put the money aside for extra masters sessions, for Swim Labs sessions, and for a strength coach with a swim background. We decided to hit it from all angles.
Now, a month has gone by. I went back to SwimLabs for the second time last night to see myself again on the screen. Seeing myself on video with Mike pointing out the issues really helps me. My weights sessions with my Masters coach Paul have been very rewarding and refreshing (when I'm not sore... but it's a good sore). The extra masters sessions are great. I'm now swimming with Paul 3X a week, and then over with Susan Williams (Olympic bronze medalist in triathlon) 2X a week.
Things are happening. I am proud to say that 100's in the 1:40's are a thing of the past (yard pool), even on long sets. My catch is greatly improved with still some work to be done. I am still dropping my right elbow and pulling with my shoulder. My breathing is effecting this, so I have some drills to help get my head in the water a little quicker after my breath. My bum is moving up towards the surface, but there is still a ways to go there too. Things are lining up, but they aren't "there". Perfect news.
The best part of the SwimLabs session on Friday was to get through the first filming session and to see Mike say "This is strong", "This is good", "I love seeing this". It was so nice to get some positive reinforcement. For some reason, the black line on the bottom of the pool doesn't seem to talk back much. I praise, and dote on it, but it remains silent.
The second best part of the session was getting back in the car after it was over and to see Troy grinning. He gave me this huge hug and said "You are doing it, I saw so much progress". Insert warm fuzzy feelings [here]. It was the first time in a month he has seen me swim. To Troy, my swimming consists of the lack of a warm body next to him in bed from 4:30am-7:30am.
From Sept 29 Swim Labs to Oct 30 SwimLabs I swam masters 22 times, and did 3 solitary swims. My shoulders do not hurt in the slightest. My lats and "underarms" are sore after strong sessions, but I tend to bounce back in 24 hours. My masters sessions with Paul range from 4800-5900yds per session, and the ones with Susan are 3000-4000yds. In the last month I have PRed in my 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, and 750, and all during the middle (or at the end) of a masters session.
I still have a long ways to go, and I still have many things that need fixing, but I am finally on the right road. I feel it. I'm excited about it, I am happy to get to the pool in the morning (after I down a Mix1 on the drive and listen to music REALLY loud).
Below is my SwimLab video from Oct 30th.I am in the black cap. The video from 1 month ago is here.
I am interested in your thoughts. Anything here that is glaring to you? I am taking advise from all sources at this time, and filing them in my arsenal. After all, I spend quite a few hours every week thinking about every stroke I make. I would love to "think" about your comments as well!